MUSSELBURGH Racecourse has been given the green light to increase the number of spectators at race meetings to 500.

It follows the successful reintroduction of racing fans to the last meeting on May 25, which was limited to 250 spectators in a carefully managed exercise designed to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus.

This Saturday’s Edinburgh Cup Race Day, which features prize money of more than £110,000, has already sold out.

Bill Farnsworth, Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, said that after racing behind closed doors for more than a year, the East Lothian track was taking a careful approach to crowd levels in the coming months.

He said: “We wanted to keep it simple for our first ‘live’ meeting in 15 months and, by limiting the crowd to 250, we demonstrated that there was lots of space and that going forward we could accommodate 500 people without any issues.

“Naturally, people want things to go back to normal, but we have to take things one step at a time and host race meetings in a manner that puts safety first and minimises the risk of infection.

“Our first meeting with spectators worked very well and we will carefully build on that in the weeks ahead while adhering to the relevant Government and health agencies advice.”

At the Edinburgh Cup meeting on Saturday, bars at the racecourse will reopen but service will be limited to guests sitting at tables, with no standing permitted and social distancing maintained.

The racecourse also hosts the traditional summer harness racing two-day event next Tuesday and Wednesday (June 15 and 16), which will have a 500-spectator limit. The meetings are dependent on the Harness Racing Authority being granted permission by the East Lothian Safety Advisory Group.

For up-to-date information, check Musselburgh Racecourse’s website and social media channels.